NCIS: The Video Game Box Art(http://www.ubi.com/UK/Games/Info.aspx?pId=10158)  Rated T for Teen by ESRB.  The hit TV show NCIS (aka Naval Criminal Investigative Service) has finally hit it big time. With big success comes fans, and the inevitable video game offshoot. Video game adaptations of other versions of media aren’t exactly the most successful games on the market today. But the immense fan base of NCIS overwhelms almost any other crime drama out there, and rivals even CSI. How well do Gibbs and the rest of the gang perform when brought home on your favorite gaming system?

NCIS: The Video Game Box ArtNCIS: The Video Game Logo(http://www.ubi.com/UK/Games/Info.aspx?pId=10158) Rated T for Teen by ESRB.  The hit TV show NCIS (aka Naval Criminal Investigative Service) has finally hit it big time. With big success comes fans, and the inevitable video game offshoot. Video game adaptations of other versions of media aren’t exactly the most successful games on the market today. But the immense fan base of NCIS overwhelms almost any other crime drama out there, and rivals even CSI. How well do Gibbs and the rest of the gang perform when brought home on your favorite gaming system?

 
 


Presentation:
Four whole new mysteries were written for the sole purpose of the video game. Written by the same all star writing staff that does the TV show, they definitely don’t disappoint. Each mystery is a different episode, just like if you were watching the show on TV. And what’s great about the story is that even though each crime seems unrelated, there is an overarching plot the connects each mystery together at the end.

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Graphics:
While NCIS the video game won’t be winning any awards for graphical presentation, it did bring the criminal investigation world to life as well as the television does. The NCIS locations that everyone knows and loves like Abby’s lab, Ducky’s morgue, and the rest of the Team’s office are all lovingly recreated with even small details added to keep the experience alive. While the characters’ lips sometimes don’t match up perfectly with the voice acting, all of our favorite characters’ faces were detailed to mimic their real images quite well.

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Sounds:
What made NCIS such a hit television show was the cast. Each character’s unique quirks and interactions with each other made the crime solving team truly legendary. DiNozzo’s funny quips, Ziva’s use of the English language, and Abby’s happy-go-lucky attitude are all staples of the series that kept it going. And while the game kept the lines of the characters true to the series, the actual actors from the series were noticeably missing. The only voices that remained the same from the TV show were that of David McCallum (Donald Mallard aka Ducky), and Robert Wagner (Anthony DiNozzo Senior). None of the core investigative team remained the same, and the lack of their voices was an almost jarring experience. Without the familiar voices to accompany their digital facades, the experience was ruined. Using the familiar sound effects of the camera and transitions as well has having the NCIS theme played at the beginning of each episode was a nice touch. But not having the original actors was too much for a game that was meant to mimic the show.

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Gameplay:
Point and Click is what NCIS the video game consists of. Whether you’re investigating a fresh crime scene or roaming the lab, pointing and clicking is what you’ll be doing most of the time. While it isn’t the most exciting form of gameplay, it is the most efficient for the crime solving genre. Anything that isn’t directly point and click is either a mini game or a sort of quicktime scenario. Sometimes you’ll have to slide the thumbstick in a certain direction to move a desk or something, but it’s very simple for the most part. While the game doesn’t present much of a challenge, it is still fun to be the one in control while you experience the episode.

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Conclusion:
NCIS fans beware. While the video game adaptation of NCIS may be entertaining, it has its pitfalls. There are four whole new stories to be told and they fit together in a cool and interesting way, but the cast is lackluster without the familiar actors. And the linear method of gameplay ensures only one playthrough. It might be fun for a holiday rental or some other quick playthrough, but don’t expect an NCIS fan to love it just because it’s based on their favorite TV show.

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